There are five yagnas and they all represent our gratitude towards the Gods and creatures of the cosmos. Bhuta, Manushya, Pitr, Deva and Brahma Yagna.
The five yagnas
Bhuta Yagna is offering to all living beings. In this yagna, food is scattered on the ground for the creatures. The offering is offered to all gods, all directions, waters, pestle, trees, animals, watering plants and with us to remain concerned about the sacred resources of mother earth. The offerings are then thrown in the air for the devas and all the goblins roaming about day and night. Then it remains in the southerly directions for Yama. The rest is placed gently on the ground for stray dogs, crows, ants or whosoever is hungry. This sacrifice is to prove that we are responsible to all living creatures. It increases our level of kindness and concern for our living beings.
Manushya Yagna is to respect and welcome a guest. It also means to respect peoples’ space, boundaries, existence, and freedom, and to help others.
Pitr Yagna is to offer food, clothes, charity in the name of our ancestors. It does not matter if they left us nothing but it is because of them we are here.
Deva Yagna is offering to the Gods with fire and water.
Brahma Yagna is performed by chanting Vedic Mantras.
They are simple to perform
Now when we read about the first three Yagnas, we are working on our atmabhava. Our feelings for mankind and the earth. They are very simple to perform and work on our compassion and generosity. Bhuta Yagna is very beautiful and we can perform it with our friends, children and grandkids. It can be performed anytime and it is your choice, about your offerings. Respecting mother earth is an essential part of the yagna.
The next yagna is concentrating more on atmabhava and hospitality. When we look at hospitality address it to strangers. When I used to travel with my sons on the train, we used to carry our food. I was fussy about the hygiene and they were little, being three plus. We would sit down on the berth to eat and of course my sons would be looking at what other people had brought. Those people would immediately offer them and I could not say anything. I then would share what I had brought. It was not unusual at all and the generosity of the travelers always surprised me. Hospitality and sharing is not unusual at all in India.
I am surprised and saddened that now when we travel, we cannot trust the other persons. When we speak about hospitality, we also mean warmth, helpfulness, kindness and friendliness. Pitr Yagna is remembering your ancestors and giving charity. Again we are working on expressing our gratitude. It is not difficult to perform these three yagnas.
Aim Hrim Klim